From secular dictator to extremist hell-hole

By Christian Rose

Reader Columnist

It hasn’t even been a full generation since Saddam Hussein was removed from power in April 2003. And unless you’re one of those Americans that has never known the world without a smart phone, you probably remember the result. No WMDs were ever located, the U.S. Treasury borrowed a trillion dollars from China to pay for a protracted war and nearly 4,500 soldiers died. For all that blood and treasure we didn’t even get a cool T-shirt. I mean, at least our WWII heroes gave us “Back-to-Back Championships.” Instead, all we have an ISIS-laden hell-hole and thousands of Veteran’s with PTSD that the VA can’t seem handle without pumping them full of psychotropic drugs.

If you think that’s a one-off, you’re wrong. Consider Libya. Surely you remember that Obama/Clinton debacle? The U.S. State Department and CIA covertly funded and supported deposing another Secular Dictator, Muammar Gaddafi. In October 2011 they succeeded when he was captured and killed by the Misratan Militia. And when it really fell apart a year later in Benghazi, Susan Rice told us it was because of a “hateful video.” A provable lie.

Now, Libya is an ISIS/Ansar Al-Sharia hell-hole too. The International Organization for Migration says there are currently some 425,250 internally displaced people in the country. So much for an “Arab Spring”.

So why on God’s green earth are Republicans and Democrats in D.C. tripping over each other to get in front of a camera and proclaim the need to depose another secular dictator in Syria? I’d expect that from resident Senate jokes and unapologetic neo-cons, John McCain and Lindsey Graham. But when we’ve also got Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi praising Mr. Trump’s bombing campaign, I  can’t help but search my storage locker for that tin-foil hat.

For the war-mongers, please don’t give me the talking points. Frankly it’s tiresome. We can agree that Assad is a terrible thug, a killer of his political opponents. That’s not in debate. But what’s the alternative? An Islamic Sharia state that murders Christians on Palm Sunday, hurls gay people off buildings or burns adulterers alive inside cages? Does this sound better? That’s the alternative. History proves me right.

Assad was clearly winning the civil war against both the anti-government fighters and ISIS. So why would he do something so reckless? Perhaps Russia was using its client dictator to test the resolve of the new administration? Sick, yes. But plausible.

If life in Syria isn’t bad enough, it can get worse. It will get worse if Western powers remove Assad. The use of chemical weapons is unacceptable. A legitimate argument can be made that the U.S. bombing last week was an appropriate response. But this should be the extent of our intervention. Period.

Fail to learn from history, and misunderstand what’s truly at stake. Go ahead, remove Assad from power. I guarantee you we’ll be another trillion in debt, we’ll have more dead soldiers, and Syria will still be an ISIS hell-hole.

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